My 2016 Regrets

2016 was a long year for everyone. It started off simple enough, and then halfway through the year everyone realized that we’ve all been played by 2016 and wanted to jump ship immediately. Unfortunately, there is no skipping the next couple of pages in the book of life because you don’t like them, so we were trapped in the throes of a wild presidential campaign, more tragedies than any of us would like to count, and the most ridiculous year of social media frenzy to date.

But  somehow we survived, and that in itself is an accomplishment. Last year I didn’t set any traditional New Year’s Resolutions because I was 0-18 on years that they were completed. Oddly enough, I ended the year more satisfied that I ever had, so yeah for me. On the other hand, this year has been really hard for me personally. I lost friends to depression and gun violence, I’ve struggled with loving myself, and I’ve been in this weird place in my college career where I’m not in a bad spot but I’m not where I wanted to be either.

However, through all of this year I have only one regret, and that is not taking more chances. I am a creature of habit,  a proud introvert, a lover of all things remaining the same, and I kind of got in my own way during 2016. Looking back, there were so many opportunities that I missed because I was afraid of failure, or afraid of making a fool out of myself. I gladly took the back seat on many things because I didn’t want the limelight, and I didn’t want things in my life to change too much.

Looking back, all of those opportunities that I missed where chances for me to grow as an individual, both professionally and personally. I have a whole Pinterest board of motivational quotes and wonderful things telling me to put myself out there and take risks, but I still let those chances pass. Of course I know that life happens outside of my comfort zone, and that I miss 100% of the shots I don’t take. But have you seen how nice my comfort zone is? Do you know how bad my free throws are?

My fear of failure was greater than my desire to grow, and so because of that I didn’t. Now this wasn’t always the case, and sometimes I was a little wild and stayed up past 10 pm. But when it came down too it, I was just too afraid.

I noticed that most of the chances that I took came when I had absolutely nothing to lose. I decided to apply and was selected to go to an RA Conference in Arkansas because, why not?  And I loved it! I met so many new people, dropped my phone in the toilet, shorted out the electricity in my hotel room and presented a program about diversity and inclusion. I grew in ways that I didn’t know I could, and strengthened friendships with RAs and RDs from my university. I also forced my van to listen to the whole Hamilton soundtrack while I screamed along to the lyrics, but that’s another story.

Looking back at what happened when I decided to risk it and carpe diem, I realized that the worst thing that could happen to me is that I learn from the experience. My inner perfectionist cringes at the thought of failure, and maybe that’s because I’ve associated success with happiness. At the end of the day, I don’t want to look back and see all of the could haves and should haves. I’d rather have hilarious stories of how things didn’t go the way I planned, but somehow I managed to overcome, or how I learned a valuable lesson.

As every other person is saying, 2017 is the year of me. It will be the ultimate treat yo’ self year, and I’m pumped to get this show on the road.

New Year, same me, hopefully I get little bit better about a lot of things but until then!

Also, if you are like me and survived engagement season still very single, check out Kristen’s blog post about starting the new year single over at Prickly Love. It’s kinda fantastic, she’s kinda fantastic. Do yourself a favor and go read it.





Blogmas 2016: Ruin Christmas 2016

If you read the title of this post and are completely and thoroughly confused, that’s okay. When I say ruin Christmas, I don’t mean set the presents on fire, and begin a shouting match that turns into a food fight, or anything wild in that nature. So relax, put the matches down and let’s talk about what I mean when I say Ruin Christmas 2016.

For most of us, Christmas is a joyful as it is uncomfortable. We gather our families together and talk about the year and other things that have happened since the last time everyone was united. Someone will ask you if you’ve gained weight, or make a snarky remark about the fact that Cousin X has a new job AND is engaged, while you are neither.

You hug and kiss your parents and then retreat to your childhood bedroom that is more like a museum of your past. And everyone agrees not to talk about politics at the table until someone has one too many and begins blurting out their opinions about Banned Topic Y.

Everyone will ignore such comments, yet feel emboldened to begin conversations about other seemingly less politically charged conversations. If one wasn’t listening for them racially charged, homophobic, xenophobic and other dangerous comments might slip from several different members of the family.

The correct holiday response would be to ignore such comments, or bookmark them for a conversation that is supposed to happen later, but you only see Sexist Uncle #2 twice a year, and you’ll probably forget the incident by Thanksgiving of next year anyway. Thus, a teaching opportunity has been lost, while the world keeps turning and incorrect opinions and thoughts remain unchecked.

So, here’s how we ruin Christmas this year:

Challenge those statements.

Call them in for healthy discussions rather than calling them out as being blatantly wrong.

Openly disagree with what someone has to say, and then defend your opinion.

Don’t attack the person, dismantle their argument.

Be polite, but firm.

Express your love for them, but remain strong in your conviction.

Know when to table the conversation and move on.

Accept that not everyone is ready to learn, and that at the end of the day you can’t change the mind of someone who is not willing to listen.

On paper, it doesn’t look that bad right? In real life, that’s another ball game. Sometimes the people we love the most can say some of the most conflicting things. And if conversations of importance are not happening, then we cannot progress as a society. Some people are too afraid to start these conversations for fear of losing a relationship with a loved one. But people are losing their lives because of those misconceptions and stereotypes. Families no different than our own are being ripped apart and demolished because of the actions of those who have not been morally challenged.

While it may be hard to think of the right words to say to combat the Islamophobic language that has been said by your favorite aunt, there are women and children who fear for their lives, who have been threatened and abused in the “land of the free”.

Don’t know where to start? Ask a few questions:

What do you mean by that?

Where did you hear that?

Have you thought about speaking to someone with that specific experience and seeing how they view the situation?

Is the information you got from a credible source?

How would you feel if the situation was reversed?

Have you had a conversation with someone of that ethnicity?

Do think your truth is the only truth?

Could you be more open minded about the subject?

What other research have you done on this topic?

With questions, not only does it force the other person to become more introspective of the things that they said, it allows you to worm into the conversation in a less hostile and aggressive manner. If one cannot answer the question and defend their statement, then you can offer a teaching moment or then begin to explain why such language is worrisome.

So go out there and ruin Christmas everyone! The future of this country is depending on you.




Blogmas 2016: My Christmas Playlist

Do you love Christmas music? Because I love Christmas music! Of course, some people frown upon the playing of Christmas music before the end of Thanksgiving, but I am not one of those people. I think part of it was because when I was in an orchestra in high school, we would start practicing Christmas music as early as October, so I’ve been used to listening and playing Christmas music for a long time!

I’ve attached the link to my Spotify playlist click here to listen to my playlist entitled, sleigh.

Some tracks include:

All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) – Nat King Cole

Hallelujah – Pentatonix

White Christmas – Pentatonix, The Manhattan Transfer

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – Whitney Houston

Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

He Is Born (feat. Ryan Innes) – BYU Vocal Point, Ryan Innes

Sleigh Ride (feat. Elisha Garrett) – BYU Vocal Point, Elisha Garrett

Winter Song – Leslie Odom Jr.

Ave Maria – Leslie Odom Jr.

Wonderful Christmastime – The Shins

Have any suggestion? Let me know in the comments! Happy listening everyone!